ZURICH/BERLIN, March 26 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 1.5% lower at 8,859 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer .
Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:
Countries that have locked down their populations to prevent the spread of coronavirus need to put a premium on finding new cases and doing everything they can "to suppress and control" the virus, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
The World Trade Organization's chief said on Wednesday that projections show the economic downturn and job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be worse than the 2008 recession.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously backed a $2 trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus epidemic, as well as providing billions of dollars to buy urgently needed medical equipment.
The European Union is pushing back new rules governing medical device safety by a year due to the coronavirus, taking pressure off Switzerland to sign a new treaty with the bloc, the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper reported on Thursday.
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The drugmaker said it was working with a consortium of life sciences companies to accelerate the development, manufacture and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for Covid-19.
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The company holds its annual general meeting but without shareholders attending in person.
The hearing aid maker lowered its sales guidance for 2019/20 to around 8% in local currencies, from 9-11% previously, and a rise in adjusted EBITA below the previous guidance due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also implemented cost control measures.
* Autoneum said its shareholders agreed a proposal to give up a dividend payment in view of the company's loss during the 2019 financial year.
* Baloise reported a net combined ratio of 87.9% in its non-life business during 2019 while business volume of Baloise Switzerland increased 17% to 4.92 billion Swiss francs ($5.05 billion). Pretax profit before borrowing costs fell 9.7% to 500 million francs.
* Evolva said it entered a new collaboration agreement with International Flavors and Fragrancies (IFF) to further develop and expand commercialization of vanillin.
* Jungfrau Bahn Holding said it generated a profit of CHF 53.3 million in 2019, but expected the results for 2020 to be significantly down on previous years due to the spreading coronavirus.
* Kuros Biosciences said it had 21.9 million Swiss francs in cash & cash equivalents at the end of 2019. Revenues increased to CHF 2.6 million and net operating costs decreased to CHF 13.5 million.
* MCH Group said it was expecting sales losses of 130-170 million Swiss francs this year as the coronavirus leads to events cancellations, but the future of the company was not at stake.
* Relief Therapeutics Holding said it filed, together with NeuroRx, an Investigational New Drug (IND) Application with the U.S. FDA for a phase 2 trial of RLF-100 (Aviptadil) in the treatment of Acute and Moderate Respiratory Distress in patients infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
* Valora said the recent drop in foot traffic due to coronavirus measures were having a major impact on revenue leading Valora to reduce its cost base, suspend investment projects and introduce shorter working hours. It will also propose to the annual general meeting a one-time waiver of the dividend for the 2019 financial year.
* Zug Estates Group said it appointed Patrik Stillhart as new CEO.
* Zur Rose Group said it was launching CHF 150 million Convertible Bonds due 2025 with up to CHF 25 million increase option.
* CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG: BERENBERG CUTS PRICE TARGET TO CHF 9 FROM CHF 12.50
* UBS GROUP AG: BERENBERG CUTS PRICE TARGET TO CHF 10.5 FROM CHF 15
* LAFARGEHOLCIM LTD: CITIGROUP CUTS PRICE TARGET TO CHF 50 FROM CHF 62
* LONZA GROUP AG: BERENBERG CUTS TARGET PRICE TO CHF 410 FROM CHF 425
* STRAUMANN HOLDING AG: >: BERENBERG CUTS TARGET PRICE TO CHF 660 FROM CHF 790
* KUEHNE UND NAGEL INTERNATIONAL AG: DEUTSCHE BANK CUTS TARGET PRICE TO CHF 140 FROM CHF 148
SGS - 80 CHF/shr dividend
No economic data scheduled.
Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk